Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

Post-annexation survey update

from the MANA Board

With the holiday and legislative seasons approaching, your MANA Board continues to work to better understand how annexation proposals may impact the County and our neighborhood, and to protect our neighborhood's interests.


A five-member legislative committee has been appointed to finalize maps for DeKalb County city proposals. We approached DeKalb Commissioner Rader to share our survey results and he has suggested that given the larger County-level context, remaining unincorporated is not likely to be a long-term option. This is particularly true if nearby annexation proposals succeed in the 2015 legislative session and elections. At this time, our Medlock neighborhood is not included in any maps to be annexed to a city. Parts of the neighborhood are included in City of Decatur's annexation map, which is worrisome for several reasons.


Remaining unincorporated is the default option.

1) We are continuing to explore our neighborhood annexation options. Please remember that this is a multi-step process. First, we must petition to be "in the map" of a particular proposal. Next, the proposal needs to be approved by the legislature. Then, Medlock neighborhood residents (and others in the annexation map) who are registered to vote would have the chance to vote in favor or against the annexation. As you may recall, this is the rationale we followed last year with the Briarcliff proposal: we joined their map so that, if the proposal was approved by the legislature, all Medlock voters would have the opportunity to voice their wishes at the polls. We do not know what will happen early next year, as far as city proposals being advanced as bills. Several or no city proposals may emerge; some or all proposals may be voted down during the referendum process. We would only vote on a referendum if we are included in that particular map.

2) We have contacted Atlanta Commissioner Alex Wan and our state Representatives Rahn Mayo and Elena Parent with our questions about the process and deadlines for requesting annexation. Their responses on timing were a little contradictory, but we've agreed that early to mid-January is a reasonable date for our neighborhood to commit to a particular proposal. We would show commitment to a proposal through a petition, which we probably would conduct online, with door-to-door follow-up as needed. Petitions cannot be anonymous and petitioners must state their names and addresses. The petition(s) will be addressed to the DeKalb County delegation.


New city to the north: Last summer, we were included in the newly created City of Briarcliff map and supported their feasibility study. That proposal has now merged with the Lakeside proposal to create a new city being called LaVista Hills. Last winter, MANA was disappointed to find that the Briarcliff proposal we had supported was redrawn to abandon important commercial property on North Decatur Road to Decatur. We staunchly believe that our neighborhood and much of this commercial property (particularly Zone B in City of Decatur's annexation plan) are inextricably linked and should remain in the same jurisdiction. We ultimately decided not to request inclusion in the joint Briarcliff/Lakeside map without also including that commercial property, but the option of being annexed into a future city to the north remains open to us, as was stated in the LaVista Hills press release.

Decatur: Because many residents continue to voice an interest in being annexed to Decatur, we have arranged another meeting with the City of Decatur the week after Thanksgiving.  Both Mary Margaret Oliver and Elena Parent have indicated that they will at least try to attend; Rahn Mayo is unavailable for that meeting. Decatur was very clear in their lack of interest in annexing the Medlock neighborhood when we met last September 25 and the MANA Board does not believe that we will receive a different answer.

Atlanta: We are in the process of organizing another information session about the option of annexing to Atlanta. Atlanta Councilman Alex Wan gave us a preview last September and those meeting notes are available here.  We will share meeting details as soon as they are available.


Annexing to Decatur received the most support in our survey but we have no reason to believe that this is a viable possibility. The next highest level of support went towards remaining unincorporated, long and short-term; if it is true that we will be joining a city in the not-so-distant future, remaining unincorporated is not a viable position long-term. Annexation to a city, if we are contiguous, remains an option as long as we are still unincorporated AND that city is open to the annexation.

Following the meeting with City of Decatur, we will again need to come together to weigh the options that are realistically open to us and decide next steps. A number of MANA residents have stepped forward to help the MANA Board in the coming months. This annexation working group includes individuals representing all viewpoints listed in our survey who, along with your MANA Board, are tasked with collecting, summarizing and sharing information that will help us make informed decisions in the coming months.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Alternative Gift Market @ North Decatur Presbyterian Church [Dec 6]

Alternative Gift Market at North Decatur Presbyterian Church
Saturday, December 6, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Press Release, Updated 11/20/14
Contact:  Becky Evans, beckyevans@mindspring.com, 404 378-5288

North Decatur Presbyterian Church invites Medlock  neighborhood  to our annual Alternative Gift Market, Saturday, Dec. 6, 10 am to 3 pm. Children’s Craft Corner provided to engage your children while you shop.

Shop for fair trade*, environmentally sustainable and reasonably priced holiday gifts, including many new items this year. Gifts for sale include olive oil and beautiful carvings from Palestine; hats, scarves, clothing and gifts from Latin America; delicious soup and cookie mixes made in the U.S. supporting people in transition; rugs and other gifts from local refugee and affordable housing initiatives; beautiful beaded jewelry from Rwanda; Haitian goods; fair trade coffee, tea, cocoa and chocolate; and beautiful handmade cards from around the world. NDPC is at 611 Medlock Road at the intersection of Medlock, N. Decatur Rd. and Scott Blvd. Credit Cards, Checks and Cash payment accepted.   Make a difference in the world, one gift at a time!

*What is Fair Trade? (text credit: Fair Trade Federation) 
Fair Trade is an economic partnership based on dialogue, transparency, and respect. Fair trade is not about charity. It is a holistic approach to trade and development that aims to alter the ways in which commerce is conducted, so that trade can empower the poorest of the poor. Fair Trade Organizations seek to create sustainable and positive change in developing and developed countries.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Annexation Round-Up: Medlock's Schools

Awesome neighbor Brad create this map* and we added some labels for clarity. The map combines the recently unveiled
LaVista Hills (a mash-up of the Briarcliff and Lakeside proposals), the proposed annexation of Druid Hills into Atlanta (which includes Fernbank and Briar Vista Elementary School attendance zones, Druid Hills High School and Emory University), and maps of Decatur and Avondale (with proposed annexations included).
The popular kid in the middle, wearing green, is our Medlock neighborhood.

This post looks like more of the same: annexation blah blah blah! But it's actually about something extremely critical to our neighborhood: our schools (literally) and our attendance zones.

Our high school: "Together in Atlanta" is a group that formed in response to the DeKalb County School System's refusal to consider the proposed Druid Hills Charter Cluster. The cluster would have given more local control to parents and administrators of Druid Hills High School and all its feeder schools. Following a frustrating waiting period (the first submission was rejected; the second proposal was never put on the agenda by the DeKalb County School District board), the charter proposal was withdrawn by the organizers.  A subset of the planning group decided to split the cluster along neighborhoods served by Fernbank Elementary and Briar Vista Elementary and proposes to move these schools, as well as Druid Hills High School, into the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) system via annexation. An oft-repeated 1918 legal precedent claims that if a school's whole attendance zone is shifted to a new city, the city can have the buildings for free. That could allow APS to acquire the new Fernbank school and Briar Vista campuses; a Druid Hills High School take-over seems less clear, as only ~31% of Druid Hills High's attendance comes from the area currently included in the "Together in Atlanta" annexation plan. WABE reports that the group's annexation map has support from Atlanta mayor Kaseem Reed, and that DeKalb County Interim CEO Lee May has complained that DeKalb County was not consulted. To be fair, it seems that nobody consults the County when annexation plans are drawn, at least not publicly (cf., every other new annexation and city proposed last year). It is refreshing to hear a County officer publicly protest, as one would expect would happen every time that the Count's coffers, and ability to provide the services required by law, are threatened.

Not surprisingly, many are disappointed and even angry that Druid Hills interests at the driving seat are proposing this "grab and run"the Druid Hills Charter Cluster concept drew heavily on the benefits of promoting interaction and collaboration among the communities within in the Druid Hills High attendance zone.

Our elementary schools: Meanwhile, the new Briarcliff/Lakeside city proposal (aka "LaVista Hills") has drawn its boundary to include Laurel Ridge Elementary, which currently serves elementary school-aged Medlock children. Laurel Ridge, too,  is part of the Druid Hills High School feeder pattern. LaVista Hills does not include the Medlock neighborhood.

Medlock children also have the option of attending the International Community School (ICS), a K-6 DeKalb County School District charter that currently occupies the grounds of Medlock Elementary (which closed in May 2011 due to redistricting). ICS is unique: 50% of its students are refugees and the rest come from all over the County via lottery. Should our neighborhood's status change and should we no longer be part of the DeKalb School System, ICS's lease would be in jeopardy. Any annexations that impact the County's school system budget of course also impact the school's operations.

Decatur would immediately syphon millions of dollars out of the
DeKalb County Schools District, and that number will only grow as
our area's business corridor continues to develop. Click to enlarge.
Source: Medlock annexation survey, Nov. 2014
Denial of service: The Medlock neighborhood survey favored joining the City of Decatur, even though Decatur had already stated their lack of interest in our neighborhood during a meeting with the MANA board. Decatur has repeatedly stated its school system is operating at capacity and the school-age population will continue to grow. Decatur proposes to address this issue through an unreasonable annexation plan that would sequester extensive commercial revenue out of DeKalb County's tax digest (added bonus: these monies would also help modulate future property tax increases for Decatur residents, at the expense of the rest of the county). Click on the image to the left to see how much Decatur's plan would impact DeKalb County schools.

Obviously children will go to school somewhere once the dust settles, but this situation is quite disturbing to Medlock neighborhood residents who have been part of the Druid Hills High School family for decades and who are currently loving the learning environment at Laurel Ridge Elementary. To have external interests heedlessly tear apart our school attendance patterns (and funding) is not only harmful, it is outright bizarre. We trust that legislators will appreciate how irregular a situation this is, and acknowledge its impact on our neighborhood and all our residents, whether they have school-age children or not. 

What's next?: Mark Niesse at the AJC reported that Amy Carter (Chairwoman of the House Governmental Affairs Committee) has named the 5-person committee that will draw boundaries for the proposed new cities. The threat of this outcome was in place since summer, when Briarcliff, Lakeside and Tucker organizers were instructed to produce non-overlappling maps by November 15; they missed the deadline. Going forward, the AJC notes that map-making will be in the hands of
Rep. Buzz Brockway, R-Lawrenceville, buzz.brockway@house.ga.gov
Rep. Barry Fleming, R-Harlem, barry.fleming@house.ga.gov
Rep. Mark Hamilton, R-Cumming, mark.hamilton@house.ga.gov
Rep. Howard Mosby, D-Atlanta, howard.mosby@house.ga.gov
and Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, mmo@mmolaw.com
Their mission, which they have chosen to accept: "to produce a map decided by a majority vote. That map would then be considered during the regular legislative session, which begins in January."

If you would like to reach out to these representatives to say "please look out for our great neighborhood and DeKalb County as a whole", or whatever outcome you prefer, their addresses are included above. The school attendance issue is separate from the annexation issues that these legislators are trying to address, but it is also obvious that the committee's decisions will impact school attendance and will no doubt be informed by that issue.
* Map Sources:
http://druidhills.org/2014/10/15/cityhood-annexation-options-and-their-effects-on-taxes-and-schools/ http://www.decaturga.com/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=5445

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sandhill cranes over Medlock

The fall migration is on, and the sandhill cranes were seen flying by this morning, chatting up a storm. Their flight path goes straight over us and our neighbor Kathryn just reported that 800+ just flew over the Chattahoochee Nature Center.

To learn more about sandhill cranes, click here.

For a video to familiarize yourself with their calls (and you will hear them before you see them, for sure!), go here. In our area, they will be flying very high up and it won't be as loud. But given the altitude, size and grouping of the birds, and the calls, you will know it ain't geese!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Annexation Round-Up: cartographically anticlimactic

via http://lavistahills.nationbuilder.com/

+ Today, the group that resulted from the merging of the Briarcliff and Lakeside proposals issued a statement and new map via their Facebook page (and their new website).  Dubbed LaVista Hills, the map still overlaps City of Tucker's proposed map (over the Northlake Mall area and nearby business) which means the November 15 deadline remains unmet. But, according to the statement, "In the coming weeks the combined group will continue work towards readying LaVista Hills for the 2015 legislative session." If successful, the proposal would create DeKalb's largest city, with 72,000 residents.

The statement closes with this inclusive note: "The proponents of the City of LaVista Hills greatly appreciate the support that Briarcliff and Lakeside received from residents of areas that are not included in our combined map, and are committed to LaVista Hills agreeing to any future annexation requests from those areas."

Medlock and Clairmont Heights are not included in the map. Our sister neighborhood Laurel Ridge and its elementary school (to which Medlock Park children are districted) is now within the LaVista Hills map.

Meanwhile (thanks to Dawn for the announcement!) the Laurel Ridge Shamrock Civic Association (LRSCA) has scheduled two meetings to discuss options that are still open to all of us:

1. Atlanta Annexation: LRSCA has invited Atlanta Councilman Alex Wan and APS School Board Member Matt Westmoreland to come and talk to our community about Atlanta annexation. The information session will be on Wednesday Nov. 19 at 7 pm at University Heights Methodist Church.
[NB: Atlanta annexation of a larger area is being looked at as a way to keep the Druid Hills school cluster together.]

2. Blueprint for DeKalb. Members of this citizen driven movement to improve DeKalb will be coming to Druid Hills Middle School to come and discuss their research and recommendations. Please come out on Thursday Nov. 20 at 7pm at Druid Hills Middle School Library to learn more about this citizen driven group.

+ The Laurel Ridge Shamrock Civic Association reached out to Emory University for additional information on Emory's stand on Atlanta annexation discussions. Mr. Charlie Harmon (VP of Government and Community Affairs) stated by email that "Emory continues to monitor the efforts by engaged citizens on all aspects of the cityhood process. We support complete and timely transparency of all efforts. And we are sensitive to our neighbors and their wishes.”  LRSCA followed up by phone and noted that:
"Mr. Harman also said that the statement that was made at the Laurel Ridge Elementary Town Hall about Emory was inaccurate. He stated that Emory is not driving any talks for annexation, and that this was being pushed by Druid Hills. He was asked if Emory would go to Atlanta if Druid Hills decided that was the course that they wanted to take and that yes, but they would need to keep ALL aspects of their campus in one municipality." For full text, see LCSCA site, Nov. 9, 2014, under heading "Statement from Emory University about Cityhood/Annexation With Update From Emory"
. . .

By now, it is probably obvious that maps change and will continue to change so stay alert and involved. So long as uncertainty remains the constant, it behooves us to oppose City of Decatur's efforts to annex significant swaths of commercial property along North Decatur Road and beyond (e.g., Medline LCI area). 

Heartburn talk @ DeKalb Medical [Nov 18]

So timely!
November 18 (Tuesday), 6:30-7:30 p.m., DeKalb Medical -North Decatur, Ground Floor Theatre 

Do you wonder if you will be taking antacids and pills the rest of your life to treat your heartburn? Hear from our expert panelists on what causes heartburn, how to prevent heartburn with lifestyle changes, remedies for chronic heartburn and more. The panel includes Dr. Shirley Harris,  Dr. Scott Steinberg, dietician Leslie Trantor and Nurse Navigator Pam Briggs. The panel will focus on how you can keep chronic heartburn from disrupting your life and enjoyment of the holidays. Call 404-501-WELL to register. Parking is validated and participants receive a gift. 

Space is limited so please register by calling 404-501-WELL. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Clifton Corridor public meeting reminder via Emory

Image via Emory News Center
Two public meetings set for early December are among the next steps in a multi-year effort to bring light rail transit to the Clifton corridor, including stops convenient to the Emory campus, Emory University Hospital and the CDC. 
"This effort goes back 17 years, and this is the latest required step in what has been a protracted political and community process," says Betty Willis, senior associate vice president for government and community affairs at Emory. "This project is widely viewed as critically important to support this thriving employment center, and I have no doubt it will come to fruition once funding has been identified." Read the rest @ Emory Report.

DeKalb County's new GIS model explores the financial impact of incorporation

The November 12 Task Force on Dekalb County Operations meeting featured a presentation by Dr. Alfie Meek from GA Tech. Dr. Meek is part of a team that has developed a model to help DeKalb County better understand how incorporations impact the county's overall budget. Previous tools focused on revenue, which is easier to calculate as property and commercial tax data and business license data are readily available. This new model creates a more nuanced picture by looking at revenue vs operation costs.

The model focuses on three county funds (271, 272 and 274), as opposed to on all 30+ county funds, because those three funds are the ones that are impacted when incorporation occurs. A fund is a part of the county's budget that focuses on specific functions.

This computer model currently resides at GA Tech but will move to DeKalb County's servers by the end of the month. The public will have access. The model is not perfect but it is a great start, as it allows the users to quickly look at the costs of servicing a certain area.

To help users orient themselves, the model includes some pre-set locations to zoom into areas of interest (e.g. location of contested areas such as Executive Park). To demonstrate how the system works, Dr. Meek drew a polygon around a "test city" and pulled residential and commercial digest data as well as expenses for services to the area.  These expenses are estimated based on a line item review of existing county budgets. As was explained, the model is only as good as the data upon which it is built, and many municipalities (i.e., not just our county) cannot provide the level of detail that would be ideal for this type of simulation. That means very specific data such as where an emergency call originates and the time it takes a county employee to respond to the call and complete required actions (this example related to whether it's costlier to police commercial areas vs. residential areas). Another example discussed road maintenance, where municipalities traditionally estimate maintenance costs based on number of miles and not on a formula that accounts for both miles and number of lanes. Through individual and combined views of the three funds mentioned above, the map changes color to show if an area is a donor (that produces more revenue than it uses in services) or a recipient. Numerical and bar graph breakdowns of revenue vs. operation cost are also displayed. Users can save queries and return to them later (this data is stored at the user's computer).

The model interface allows users to select/deselect blocks to ensure the polygon covers the desired area. The model uses the existing blocks into which the county is divided but annexations rarely respect such tidy boundaries; the model would need higher resolution to provide a more granular view of finances (so, ~2000 blocks vs the current ~200+ block units that describe the whole county). This is an important point as annexations are being drawn to neatly hug the lines of desirable commercial property and the model cannot account for part of a block, just the whole block. The model assumes that a new city will take over all services and there is some flexibility to "add the services back" for example, in the case of police services. It becomes harder to generate "a la carte" scenarios and hopefully the model will continue to be refined.

The model will be applied to maps for proposed cities (the Briarcliff/Lakeside and Tucker maps are supposed to be finalized by November 15). The new model should allow some comparison between county data and data in city feasibility studies. As noted by an audience member, we can expect to see discrepancies as feasibility studies use different methodologies for their calculations. An example was that the DeKalb budget currently allocates about $3-4K per year per acre  for park maintenance but a Vinson Institute study used a $11K/year figure, based on other sources. In other words, we will soon have more information but will still need to wade through some thickets to get to the bottom of things.

Lastly, a note to naysayers: we should refrain from dwelling on why the county did not have this tool already and focus on what this model brings to the table and how it can be built upon to provide increasingly accurate data on county operations. For those who want to know what DeKalb County is doing differently this year, compared to last year, this is an example. Also see links to the Task Force website and Blueprint for DeKalb initiative on the right margin.

Our thanks to Dr. Meek and "Jay" (budget guy) for ably handling the presentation and to the Operations Task Force for getting the ball rolling on this model.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

MANA annexation survey results

Abstract: The Medlock Area Neighborhood Association has been tracking annexation and cityhood proposals affecting the northern area of DeKalb County, specifically for impacts on our neighborhood and services. We conducted a survey that garnered responses from ~28.5% of our ~1400 households. At this time, there is no clear consensus among our residents about the proposals presented in the survey, but we believe that City of Decatur’s annexation of primarily commercial real estate is unreasonable and detrimental to unincorporated DeKalb residents and schools. MANA recommends that we continue to actively explore all our options, seek and distribute relevant information, foster neighborhood discussions, and direct our concerns to elected officials.

Response Rate: Approximately 1400 newsletters and surveys were distributed door to door by MANA volunteers. 438 surveys were completed. 127(~28%) surveys were completed on paper and either mailed or filled out at the October 27 meeting—a reminder to not assume that we can reach everyone online. Most respondents included either a name or a survey number; 19 responded anonymously (no name or code). Thirty-seven codes were used more than once (35 were used twice each, two were used three times each, meaning that multiple adults in the same home completed the survey). We estimate that ~28.5% of targeted households completed the survey.


Question 1: How would you vote on a proposal to become part of the City of Decatur?

61.90% Join Decatur
37.10% Remain in Unincorporated DeKalb

Question 2: How would you vote on a proposal to become part of a new city to the north (currently represented by the Briarcliff and/or Lakeside proposals)?

63.59% Join Briarcliff/Lakeside
36.41% Remain in Unincorporated DeKalb

Question 3: How would you vote on a proposal to become part of the City of Atlanta?

58.39% Remain in Unincorporated DeKalb
41.61% Join Atlanta

Question 4:  Would you support a one-year moratorium on all new cities and annexations in DeKalb Couty?

61.75% 1-year moratorium
38.25% Legislature should decide now

Question 5 asked respondents to rank available options in order of preference. 

Based on responses for “Most Favorite” (1) column, the proposals were ranked as follows:

1. Join City of Decatur (41.5%)
2. Remain Unincorporated (19.54%)
3. 1-year moratorium on all annexations (17.70%)
4. Join new city of Briarcliff/Lakeside (15.86%)
5. Join the City of Atlanta (5.75%)


We are happy with the level of participation in the survey but most importantly with how both the survey and newsletter have spurred discussion about our neighborhood’s future. 

The survey results are rather mixed and do not give the Board of the Medlock Area Neighborhood Association a clear mandate. Although Question 5 of the survey had annexation to Decatur as the top choice for 41.5% of respondents, that is not an overwhelming majority. Furthermore, City of Decatur has made it clear that it wants to annex commercial property in and near our neighborhood but not the neighborhood as a whole. Decatur’s commercial annexation proposal is unreasonable and we will continue to fight it, as we believe North Decatur Road commercial properties should continue to primarily serve the established neighborhoods that they have been part of for so many years.

Other questions in the survey also yielded mixed results. As to supporting cityhood as a concept, although results were over 60% in favor of joining Decatur or a new city (Briarcliff/Lakeside), they were in the 40% range for joining Atlanta. Over 62% supported a one-year moratorium on all annexations and new cities; only 38% felt the state should decide for us in the coming 2015 legislative session. Question 5 indicated that a one-year moratorium and remaining unincorporated were strong contenders under the “most favorite” category, but a large number of people also ranked remaining unincorporated in their “least favorite” category. 

The top three concerns among respondents who commented are Decatur’s unreasonable commercial annexation plan and potential impacts on our schools and property taxes. 


• This is a critical time in our neighborhood history.

• The MANA Board does not believe our neighborhood has reached a consensus on how to proceed and is not advocating a particular outcome at this time. 

• The MANA Board believes that it is important that nearby commercial areas continue to serve as large a number of citizens as possible, as they have done historically. There are many millions of dollars at stake, with many more to come as the Medline LCI area continues to develop and draw new businesses. It is unreasonable for City of Decatur to unilaterally claim these resources.

Click to enlarge, via http://www.decaturga.com/
Medlock Park label added for clarity. 
How much money is at stake? Commissioner Jeff Rader helped us contact DeKalb County's Tax Commissioner Office and GIS unit; we asked them to look at areas A and B in Decatur's annexation map and how the transfer of these commercial properties would impact the DeKalb County School System budget. Area A includes businesses around the North Decatur Road/Clairmont intersection (i.e., Emory Commons, etc. among others) while Area B includes the whole Medline LCI study area (Suburban Plaza, Scott Blvd Baptist Church development, etc. and also Medlock Plaza where Melton's is located). We were informed as follows:  

Zone A – $759,816.06   [N Decatur Rd / Clairmont Rd]
Zone B – $4,747,637.06  [Medline LCI, etc.]

The County analysts that looked up this information for us clarified that “These figures represent the exact amount that we billed on the School’s behalf for those parcels. This will not be the same for the City of Decatur because of different exemptions and the varied assessment level of 40% to 50%.

These cityhood and annexation discussions always include uncertainty: it is very difficult to pin down exact dollar amounts. But even factoring in “wiggle room” for jurisdictional differences, these are significant amounts of money that would preferentially serve City of Decatur schools and will no longer be allocated to children in the much larger DeKalb County School System. The calculation does not project into the future and we know that as Suburban Plaza is redeveloped and as the Medline LCI area grows and flourishes, revenues from Zone B will only go higher and higher. 

• Whatever its source(s), we must fight the pressure to make uninformed decisions. We are still in a position where not enough information is available and must be very careful and measured in our movements: decisions made blindly will cost us dearly. 

• MANA recommends that we continue to actively explore all our options. MANA will continue to facilitate meetings, track developments, share information as quickly as possible, and encourage our residents to contact elected officials to ensure our neighborhood’s concerns and wishes are well represented.